Rising Popularity of Injectable Contraceptives in Sub-Saharan Africa

Jacob A. Adetunji, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Injectable contraceptives are fast becoming the method of choice among married women in sub-Saharan Africa. In several countries in the region, the proportion of women using injectable methods has surpassed the proportion of women using the pill. This is true even in some countries where the pill had been the most popular modern method in the 1980s and 1990s. This paper begins with a review of the history and experience with injectable contraceptives. It presents an overview of the DHS data on its pattern of use in sub-Saharan Africa. It then focuses on a select group of countries, including Malawi and Tanzania, to investigate recent increases in prevalence of injectable contraceptives, identify factors that drive the increase, and discuss the demographic and health consequences of this trend as well as implications for contraceptive security and sustainability in the region. The paper concludes by making specific recommendations for programs and policies.

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Presented in Session 66: Contraception